One of UK’s most wanted men, Michael Moogan, has been arrested in Dubai after spending eight years on the run, using a series of false identities to evade arrest.
Moogan, 35, from Croxteth, Liverpool, was arrested on Sunday and is suspected of involvement in an international drug trafficking plot to import cocaine from South America into Europe.
He was one of three British men linked by police to a cafe in the Netherlands that was being used as a front for negotiations between drug smugglers and cartels.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) said that the gangs met at the Cafe de Ketel in Rotterdam, which was not open to the public and could only be entered via a security system, to discuss plans to bring hundreds of kilos of cocaine into the UK and other European countries every week.
However, when the business was raided in 2013, only one of the men, Robert Hamilton, 71, from Manchester, could be found. He was jailed for eight years in 2014 after pleading guilty to drug charges.
The other man, Robert Gerard, 57, handed himself in to the NCA after three years on the run, claiming the pressure was too much on him. He pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges and was jailed in 2017 for 14 years.
Moogan used several false identities and kept away from CCTV cameras to evade capture, according to the National crime Agency and Dubai Police.
Moogan is the 86th person arrested under the NCA’s Operation Captura, a campaign run with Crimestoppers.
NCA Director of Investigations Nikki Holland said of the arrest:
“This arrest is the result of years of investigation involving a range of law enforcement partners in the UK, Europe and Middle East.
“We are extremely grateful to those partners for their assistance in ensuring Moogan now faces justice and particularly, thank the Dubai Police for their efforts to track him down. He will be returned to the United Kingdom to face trial.
“This case should serve as a warning to others on the run from the NCA; we have a global reach, we never give up and they can never rest easy.”
By Isaac Dachen…
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